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Re: how to donate free program for Debian?

Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> On Tue, 30 Jan 2007 09:21:12 -0800, Kevin B McCarty
> <kmccarty@Princeton.EDU> said:  
> > Cognaxon <info@cognaxon.com> wrote:
> >> Hello,
> >> 
> >> we would like to donate our free small program called "WSQ viewer"
> >> (for Linux) to be distributed with Debian CD/DVD.  The short
> >> description of the program is here
> >> http://www.cognaxon.com/index.php?page=wsqview_forlinux> The
> >> http://www.cognaxon.com/index.php?page=wsqview_forlinux> program is
> >> http://www.cognaxon.com/index.php?page=wsqview_forlinux> only 0.5
> >> http://www.cognaxon.com/index.php?page=wsqview_forlinux> Megabyte
> >> http://www.cognaxon.com/index.php?page=wsqview_forlinux> in size.
> >> 
> >> How can we donate our program for Debian?
> > In addition to the question of possible license non-freeness raised
> > by others, I have some impression that wavelets are a patent
> > minefield.  If this software was distributed by Debian, would we be
> > subject to possible patent enforcement issues?  As a volunteer Free
> > Software project we have neither the money nor the desire to license
> > patents.
>         This seems to fly in the face of the actual policy Debian has
>  with regards to patents. Additionally, your tone and constructs
>  ("*we* have neither the desire...") imply that you are speaking on
>  behalf of the project -- which, as a non-developer, it is unlikely
>  that you can.
>         As far as I am aware, the position of the Debian project wrt
>  to patents has been to ignore the possibility, until and unless
>  challenged by the patent holder. There is certainly no problem in
>  releasing the program under a free license.  While I can't speak for
>  the FTP masters, vague fears that something _might_ violate some
>  unidentified patent somewhere is not something that has been used to
>  keep packages out of Debian.

I seem to recall Keving mentioning a "patent minefield", which I would
interpret not only as an area of computer science in which several
patents exist but also that they are tried to be enforced.  If this is
the case, Debian should be careful.  See the mp3 encoder issue, Debian
hasn't been challenged by the patent holder but still it doesn't
distribute them instead of ignoring the patents as your text would assume.



A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems.   Paul Erdös

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